The Sistine Chapel prepared for a conclave (Galazka photo)

The Sistine Chapel prepared for a conclave (Galazka photo)

The Sistine Chapel will become the center of attention when it is time to elect a new Pope.

In fact, the conclave for the election of a new pontiff takes place in front of Michelangelo’s Last Judgment fresco in the famous Sistine Chapel.

The cardinals will file into the Sistine Chapel for the conclave and the dean of cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, will start the entry rituals.

Once inside, they will be ready to intone the Veni, Creator Spiritus, the solemn hymn to invoke the Holy Spirit.

Then the cardinal electors will take the oath of secrecy regarding everything that happens during the conclave.

The master of the liturgical celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff will intone the Latin command “Extra omnes!” (“All outside!”) and shut the doors to the Sistine Chapel.

For the whole duration of the conclave, a stove and chimney are installed in the chapel, representing the only form of communication between the electors and the outside world.

White smoke means that the conclave of cardinals have chosen the new head of the Catholic Church.

Otherwise, the chimney emits black smoke if the ballot was unsuccessful.

As of press time, a date for the start of the conclave had not yet been set.

The director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, said, after a conference in Trent, Italy, that he was “anxious” to learn when he will have to close the Sistine Chapel for the upcoming conclave of cardinals to elect a new Pope.

“I already know I’m going to be massacred by requests and protests, because tourists are always eager to visit it,” he added.

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